As those of you in my choir now know, I am in Nashville at the Christ Church Music & Worship Conference. I tried to keep that under wraps because the last several times the mice knew the cat was away, they indeed did play, averaging only 15 in attendane out of 75. I think my little experiment worked though, because the initial report from last night is that we actually had better attendance last night than we normally do. Well done choir!!
So far I've attended sessions with Travis Cottrell (the worship leader for the Beth Moore conferences), Regi Stone (Christ Church's worship leader, and the composer of many songs we sing, including "Power in the Name of Jesus" that I sang with our choir a few weeks ago, "Let Your Holy Rain Fall Down", and "O Magnify The Lord in Me" just to name a few), and Landy and Joy Gardner. Landy directs the Christ Church Choir and his wife Joy has appeared on many Gaither videos, and was female vocalist of the year (I think in 1977).
The Q&A with Landy and Joy was especially interesting. It seems that even the mighty Christ Church Choir has problems with faithfulness. It makes me sad that the choir that inspired me to start directing choirs is starting to dwindle, but in a way it's a relief because I really thought I was the only choir director having MAJOR issues with choir members being TRULY committed. Let me tell you, it really depresses even the most veteran and successful choir directors when only half your choir shows up week after week. It only depresses them more when the common response to that is "Oh, that's just the way it's always been around here." It was also interesting to note some of the problems they have that we don't, and vice versa.
When God saves a soul, He immediately calls that person to serve. Every last one. No exceptions. Period. Not later, not after training, NOW. The mode of service may change over time, but we are all called to serve in some capacity NOW.
Serving in a choir situation is hard. I won't lie to you and pretend it's all fun and games to try and fluff up the membership numbers. No, it's HARD...DARN HARD, and it takes commitment. It takes ZERO commitment to just show up when you want to, when it's convenient, when you feel like it. There have been many days in my past when I just didn't "feel like it", but went anyway. That is called OBEDIENCE, and that is what God calls us to. In the Bible He doesn't encourage us to do the best we can, He INSISTS that we OBEY Him, regardless of the circumstances.
What has God called you to do? Has He called you to be in your church choir? If He has, then please be faithful to that calling. If you are in town, and can walk, you should be in church. If you (faithful choir member) can show up to church, and can talk, you can most likely sing, and you SHOULD. I know there are days when you don't feel like it...hey, I get it, I REALLY do. But God didn't say to serve Him when we feel like it. He said SERVE and OBEY...and be blessed.
And see, that's the key. We forget that the blessing comes through obedience. The annointing comes from faithfulness.
God is not going to bless disobedience.
God is not going to bless unfaithfulness.
God is not going to bless mediocrity.
God is not going to bless luke-warm worship.
God will bless obedience!
God will bless faithfulness!
God will bless our best efforts!
God will bless passionate worship!
If you are spiritually dry right now, and I mean dead dry like a crunchy dead leaf in your backyard in the middle of December, then the solution for you is simple:
1) Ask God what He wants you to do.
2) Shut up and do it, and do it obediently, consistently, faithfully, and passionately with love, then repeat.
3) See the first part of number 2.
I know this was a hard blog posting to read, but I wrote it for me, not you. If something struck a chord with you, then hey, I wrote it as an open posting for me, perhaps God is trying to tell you something.
In closing, here's one of my favorite quotes:
"Preach the Gospel. Use words if necessary."